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Ariane 5 suffers anomaly during launch of communications satellites
Posted: Sun, Jan 28, 2018, 10:44 AM ET (1544 GMT)
Ariane 5 launch of SES-14 and Al Yah 3 satellites, January 2018 (Arianespace) An Ariane 5 suffered an anomaly during its launch Thursday, but still placed its two satellites into orbit. The Ariane 5 lifted off on schedule at 5:20 pm EST (2220 GMT), and the launch initially appeared to go well. However, Arianespace later revealed it lost telemetry from the vehicle a few seconds after the ignition of the upper stage, raising questions about the fate of the satellites. The company later said that it had confirmed the satellites reached orbit and separated from the upper stage, but did not indicate if the orbit was the planned one. SES said early Friday that its SES-14 satellite on the launch was in good condition, and that it would reach its planned orbit "only four weeks later than planned," suggesting it was placed in the wrong orbit. Yahsat, whose Al Yah 3 satellite was also on board, has not commented yet on the status of its spacecraft. The Ariane 5 had completed 82 successful missions dating back nearly 15 years prior to this anomaly.
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